Philly Phaithful
Better With Popcorn

Players need to step up heading into game against Bruins

The last time the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins met, it was in the midst of a seven-game winning streak for the Flyers.

But unfortunately for the orange and black-clad team, that streak came to an abrupt end when they hosted the Stanley Cup champion Bruins.

In a pathetic showing which was featured on HBO’s 24/7, the Flyers were abused 6-0 at the hands of Boston. Just over a month later, the Bullies will seek pay back against the Bruins, who they have split the season series, 1-1, so far.

Boston (30-13-2) is second in the Eastern Conference with 62 points while standing on top of the North East Division. The Flyers (28-14-4) are in second of the Atlantic Division with 60 points.

As far as starting goaltenders, Tuuka Rask and Ilya Bryzgalov both got the starts for their respective teams in their Saturday games. It's believed that Tim Thomas (19-9-0; 2.02 GAA), who has made 64% of the Bruins starts this season, will get the start for the Bruins in this game.

That brings it to the Flyers. Bryzgalov (18-10-3; 2.94 GAA) has made both starts this season against the Bruins, winning 2-1 in the season opener before getting smoked in last month's loss. Though he'll be playing in back-to-back games, Bryzgalov is coming off two straight games in which he's allowed only one goal and would be the favorable choice in a big match up against the Bruins.

Who's in net won't be the main concern for the Flyers. Instead, who will be asked to step up and score is what's going to be on head coach Peter Laviolette's mind the most.

The Flyers lost both Danny Briere (concussion) and Jaromir Jagr (groin) in their 4-1 win over the Devils on Saturday. They called up forwards Ben Holmstrom and Tom Sestito to put on the fourth line while moving up guys in their place.

That leaves the scoring focus on three possible lines.

In Matt Brigidi's piece later on Saturday, he proposed his line combinations with the absence of Jagr and Briere.

Starting with the first line, Claude Giroux will need to find his scoring touch once again. Giroux hasn't found the net since the Winter Classic and has only six points since then.

The next line, which will likely keep Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier and Matt Read together, will need to keep up the scoring pace they have in their last five games. In the last five games, the threesome has combined for eight goals and nine assists, good for a whopping 17 points.

Lastly, Jakub Voracek needs to wake up fast. The 22 year-old forward has only one point in his last seven games. Even worse, he's a minus-eight in that span.

Step Up Players

Voracek

Giroux

Schenn